Arkansas Republican Senate Candidate Tom Cotton Wants to Require Employers to Provide Employees With Multiple Healthcare Insurance Choices. Seriously.
[T]here is probably no one more gung ho for Obamacare repeal than [Senate Republican nominee] Tom Cotton. He talks about it all the time. So he obviously would roll back the Arkansas version of the state’s Medicaid expansion, right?
REPORTER: What happens to those people who enrolled either on Obamacare or on the private option in Arkansas? They gonna be stranded?
COTTON: We’ll see what we can do in terms of reforming it, and potentially protecting some of the people who have already received some of the benefits. But what we want to do is ensure people have control over their own health care choices…that’s why we start over in health care reform, broadly speaking, not just with Obamacare, and get those decisions out of the hands of Washington.
— Greg Sargent, Washington Post, yesterday
Yup. Formerly-uninsured Arkansans, whether because they couldn’t afford insurance or had a preexisting medical condition and were categorically precluded from purchasing it, who now have healthcare insurance thanks to Obamacare, are demanding a return to the control they had over their own health care options: deciding which hospital emergency room they should visit, and then own several thousand dollars to, because they had no other access to medical care.
But, okay, let’s given Cotton his due. While some, mostly large, employers do give their employers some control over their own health care choices, by giving them two or more insurance-coverage options, many, many employers that provide coverage as part of their employee compensation offer only a single carrier’s policies. So it’s nice that what he wants to do is ensure that people—presumably, including people whose coverage is employer-based; after all, they fit the definition of “people”–have control over their own health care choices.
But I’m not sure the Chamber of Commerce agrees that employers should be required to return to their employees the control they had over their own health care options—unless, of course, that proposal is taken literally; the control most employees had over their own health care options is the same as the control employees now have.
But if Cotton is proposing some actual change, something that would ensure (his word, remember) that people, including the ones whose healthcare insurance is employer-based, have control over their own health care choices, I’m not sure how he proposes to accomplish this by getting those decisions out of the hands of Washington.
I hope Sen. Mark Pryor, his opponent, asks him, and passes along the answer. But, apparently, he’s not kidding when he says he’s proposing that we start over in health care reform, broadly speaking, not just with Obamacare.
This is broadly speaking, alright.